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Group of calves grazing in a fenced-in area.

Weaning Calves on Cover Crops

What do we do if it is time to wean calves, but the pen isn’t ready? That can be a real concern during wet fall seasons, such as 2019. Putting calves into muddy pen conditions is far from desirable, but holding calves on the cows deep into fall increases the risk of adverse winter weather and tends to pull body condition off the cows.

A patch of western wheatgrass with ergot fungus growing throughout.

Ergot in Western Wheatgrass and the Potential Effects for Winter Grazing

2019 has been a year fraught with challenges for ranchers across South Dakota. Abundant precipitation is usually a blessing, however, wet conditions coupled with a cool spring followed by warmer temperatures has caused another problem across the rangelands of South Dakota: ergot poisoning.

A green tractor pulling a fertilizer wagon through a field of alfalfa.

Fertilizing Forages in South Dakota

Spring is a busy time for South Dakota farmers and ranchers with planting, calving, and other field preparations. Soil sampling and fertilizing pastures, alfalfa, or other forages might be overlooked.

A field of flowering alfalfa.

Precautions for Grazing Weevil-Infested Alfalfa

Alfalfa weevil populations are high this year, creating challenges for producers. Questions have arisen on how to get some value out of the forage by grazing it rather than putting it up for hay.

cows eating silage

What’s Important to Know About Silage Additives & Inoculants? 

Corn is suited to preservation as silage. Silage additives can be used to remedy deficiencies such as lack of sufficient population of bacteria to support adequate fermentation, and low levels of fermentable carbohydrates.

A group of people observing flats of microgreens in a greenhouse.

Growing Micro-Greens

As the name implies, micro-greens are grown only for a short time before they are harvested, usually only for about three weeks!

Freshly cut hay in a field.

Determining Hay Prices

Before pricing forages, producers will want to have a good understanding about the cost of growing a ton of hay, alfalfa or straw.

Round hay bales wrapped with net wrap in a stack.

How Will You Make Hay This Year?

With plenty of spring moisture, hay season will be here before you know it. Have you considered the type of binding material you will use to put up hay this year?

Lush, green hay growing in a ditch alongside an oil road.

Ditch Hay: Harvesting, Quality, and Feeding

Using ditch hay to feed cattle is a common practice across the U.S. It provides livestock producers with a source of readily available forage, which can be very useful, particularly during feed shortages.

a sprawling green plant with flowering yellow heads

Sweet Clover Poisoning

Hay that contains sweet clover can be an excellent feed as long as the dicoumarol level is known and feeding management is used to prevent poisoning.